You are on page 1of 1

POBRE vs.

DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO
(A.C. No. 7399, August 25, 2009)
PETITIONER
Petitioner Antero Pobre made aware to the court the contents of
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiagos speech delivered on the
senate floor. The following excerpts are the ones in question:
x x x I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in the mouth. I
am homicidal. I am suicidal. I am humiliated, debased,
degraded. And I am not only that, I feel like throwing up to be
living my middle years in a country of this nature. I am
nauseated. I spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio
Panganiban and his cohorts in the Supreme Court, I am no
longer interested in the position [of Chief Justice] if I was to be
surrounded by idiots. I would rather be in another environment
but not in the Supreme Court of idiots x x x.
According to Pobre, the words of the lady senator were
disrespectful and requested that the latter be disbarred or be
subjected to disciplinary action.
RESPONDENT
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago argued that the statements
she made were covered by the constitutional provision on
parliamentary immunity, being part of a speech she delivered in
the discharge of her duty as member of Congress or its
committee. She claims to have made those comments to expose
anomalies with regard to the selection process of the Judicial
Bar Council for the next Chief Justice.

The argument of the respondent is based on Article VI Section


11 which states that:
"A Senator or Member of the House of Representative shall, in
all offenses punishable by not more than six years
imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is
in session. No member shall be questioned nor be held liable
in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress
or in any committee thereof."
ISSUE
WON Miriam Defensor-Santiago can be charged for her
comments on the Judiciary
SUPREME COURT: NO.
The court ruled in favor of Defensor-Santiago in this case. The
plea of Senator Santiago for the dismissal of the complaint for
disbarment or disciplinary action is well taken. Indeed, her
privilege speech is not actionable criminally or in a disciplinary
proceeding under the Rules of Court.
Despite this, the court feels that the lady senator has gone
beyond the limits of decency and good conduct for the
statements made which were intemperate and highly improper
in substance. The court is not hesitant to impose some form of
disciplinary sanctions on her, but the factual and legal
circumstances of this case, however, deter the Court from
doing so, even without any sign of remorse from her.
Petition is DISMISSED